Understanding by Design

When we truly understand, we:

  • can explain: not just a knowledge of facts, but the knowledge of why and how
  • can interpret: be able to tell meaningful stories, how facts relate to each other in a linear fashion
  • can apply: use and adapt what they know in diverse context
  • have perspective: question assumptions, see different points of view, see the big picture
  • can empathize: find value in what others might find odd, alien, or implausible
  • have self-knowledge: perceive the personal style, prejudices, projections, an habits of themselves

Instructional Implications:

  1. build units around essential questions
  2. teach students how to build a narrative
  3. emphasize performance-based learning
  4. opportunities that confront diverse points of view
  5. leaning needs to be more experiential
  6. develop more opportunities for self-knolwdge
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